Men's Lacrosse Picks Up Pair of NESCAC Wins
Issue   |   Tue, 04/08/2014 - 22:04
Chloe McKenzie ’14
Quinn Moroney ’16 leads the Jeffs with team-high totals in both points (55) and assists (39). The sophomore also has 16 goals on the season, four of which came in Amherst’s 14-7 win over Colby this past Saturday.

The men’s lacrosse team played three important NESCAC games in the past two weeks. The Jeffs had a one-goal loss to Middlebury, followed by two big wins over Wesleyan last Wednesday and Colby this past Saturday. Amherst is now 4-2 in the NESCAC and 8-2 on the season.

On March 29, the Jeffs journeyed to Vermont for their first tilt after a successful spring break trip to Florida. Middlebury got on the board first, but five minutes later the Jeffs took a 2-1 lead when Devin Acton ’14 and Patrick Moroney ’14 each found the back of the nets off of assists from sophomore Quinn Moroney, his first two of five.

Middlebury scored three in a row to regain the lead, and by halftime they edged the Jeffs by a goal. Kane Haffey ’16 recorded his second and third goals of the game in the third quarter to tie it up for Amherst, the lone goals of the period. In the fourth, Middlebury scored early, but Q. Moroney tied it up at 7-7. However, the Panthers’ Jack Rautiola put the game-winning goal between the pipes with 7:22 remaining. Despite a number of chances, the Jeffs were handed their first loss in five games.

Traveling to Wesleyan the following Wednesday yielded better results for the Jeffs, who stayed resilient and overcame a four-goal deficit to top the Cardinals.

The Cardinals came out hot scoring the first four goals of the game, but Amherst struck back by scoring the next six. Wesleyan outscored the Jeffs 5-4 in the third, but the final period was all Amherst, as they sealed the victory with four more goals. Aaron Mathias ’14, Acton and Haffey all finished with three goals, while Q. Moroney racked up three more assists on the afternoon. Dylan Park ’16, Charlie Gill ’16, Matt Killian ’17, Q. Moroney and P. Moroney all found the back of the net as well.
Wesleyan outshot Amherst 41-30 and had more groundballs, although Amherst was the only side to capitalize on one of their man-up opportunities. Both teams had 17 turnovers, and Greg Majno ’14 finished with 16 saves.

The Colby game, played on Pratt Field this past Saturday, featured explosive offensive by the Jeffs. The Mules managed to score the first goal of the game to take a 1-0 lead, their only of the game, but Amherst rattled off five straight goals. Colby wouldn’t score again until late in the second quarter.

The Jeffs entered the second half up 5-3, and Q. Moroney was quick to add to that lead. Colby answered 21 seconds later, but then the Jeffs went on another tear, this time racking up eight goals in a row. Q. Moroney racked up seven of his nine points on the day during this run, concluding an all-around excellent offensive performance.

“Scoring nine points was pretty cool. A lot of my points were products of great plays by my teammates, such as Devin and Kane,” Q. Moroney said. ”In the Colby game we started off a bit sloppy, but once we got the jitters out of us we didn’t look back. Our defense played unbelievable against them. It didn’t seem like their offense could beat any of our defenders one-on-one, and Greg Majno had another outstanding game. The defensive midfield did a great job of creating transition offense, which led to a bunch of goals for us. On offense we were patient with the ball, but also took our looks in unsettled.”

Colby scored three goals in the fourth, bringing the final score to 14-7. Acton had four goals, Haffey had three and Killian and P. Moroney account for the remaining three Amherst scores.

“It was a solid performance,” Coach Jon Thompson said. “We rebounded in the second and third quarter, sparked by the play of Quinn Moroney and Matt Virgilio. Those two guys really stood out in terms of their effort during that stretch. We are still working on putting 60 minutes together, but we’ve seen growth there. “

The Jeffs traveled to Conn. College on Tuesday, where they dominated the Camels, winning 17-6.

“Conn. College is a perennial power in the NESCAC. They have made it to the NESCAC final four weekend in each of the past two seasons, and they are a heck of a challenge for us,” Thompson said.

“It’s easy to go out and fly around defensively when you have complete trust and confidence in our offense to get the big goals when we need them. Defensively, we’re coming together as a unit, and it’s hard for opposing offensive guys to get the looks they want when we have an incredible goaling making big saves every game,” Ryan Cassidy ’16 added.

The Jeffs will travel to Medford, Mass. on Saturday to face fellow NESCAC rival Tufts, who is currently third in the conference. On Monday, they will face Springfield.

“I really think our team is just realizing how good we can be when we play our style of lacrosse. Our defense is starting to shut down opposing offenses, which leads to transition play and more opportunities for our offense to score the ball. If we continue to play like we have been, we are going to be a tough team to beat no matter who we play,” Q. Moroney said.